ACARA news, December 2016

ACARA's holiday closure

23 December 2016

ACARA’s offices close at noon on Friday 23 December 2016 and reopen on Monday 9 January 2017.

We would like to wish everyone a safe and happy festive period.

Curriculum for Auslan, Classical Greek and Latin released

19 December 2016

Language curricula for Auslan, Classical Greek, Latin and the Framework for Classical Languages, which were funded by the Australian Government, have been published following ministerial endorsement. The language curricula are now available on the Australian Curriculum website

“The publication of the Auslan curriculum reflects the importance of Auslan in Australia. The development of this curriculum involved collaboration between members of the Deaf community, including organisations, community members, educators, Auslan teachers and leading academics,” says ACARA CEO, Robert Randall.

“There are two pathways for teaching Auslan in schools: the first pathway is for deaf children to access education in and about their language; the second pathway gives hearing children a chance to learn to communicate in Auslan.”

Curricula for Classical Languages have also been published. These curricula complement, and form a part of, a wide suite of languages available to study in the Australian Curriculum. Classical Greek and Latin are included in the Australian Curriculum because of their historical significance.

Classical Greek and Latin curricula have been developed from the Framework for Classical Languages. State and territory education and school authorities or schools will have an opportunity to use the Framework, as well as Latin and Classical Greek curricula, as a guide to developing curriculum for other classical languages currently offered in schools, such as Classical Hebrew and Sanskrit.

New work samples released

19 December 2016

Work samples have been published for The Arts, Years 7–10 , which includes subjects for Music, Dance, Drama, Visual Arts and Media Arts.

These new work samples are now available on the Australian Curriculum work samples interactive website.

Work samples portfolios show student achievement of curriculum standards for above, at, and below satisfactory levels. The portfolios support teachers and schools to make balanced judgements of student performance over time, in relation to the relevant achievement standard.

The new work samples add to those already made available on the interactive website.

Previously work samples were available in PDF format only. Now these are published on the Australian Curriculum: work samples new interactive website. This new interactivity will allow users to compare work samples that are above, at, and below satisfactory more easily. Portfolios have been selected, annotated and reviewed by classroom teachers and curriculum experts. 

My School updated with 2016 Term 3 student attendance data

14 December 2016

Today, the My School website has been updated with school student attendance rates for Term 3, 2016. Attendance data are reported on all students, Indigenous students and non-Indigenous students. Data are suppressed where student numbers are less than, or equal to, five students.

This update follows the release of Semester 1 student attendance data in November.

Attendance data reporting is a COAG (the Council of Australian Government) initiative to help improve learning outcomes by monitoring attendance. Data are reported twice a year, for Semester 1 (Terms 1 and 2) and Term 3.

2016 NAPLAN National Report released

13 December 2016

The 2016 NAPLAN National Report has been published, confirming the majority of the initial findings of the NAPLAN summary information released in August 2016.

Data in the NAPLAN National Report show that, compared with 2008 (the first year of NAPLAN), there are some better results in all content areas (except in writing), but not for all year groups; however, in recent years NAPLAN results have largely plateaued.

NAPLAN achievement plateaus: is this good enough?

“While the improvements since NAPLAN started in 2008 are welcome, there is room for more improvement,” says ACARA CEO, Robert Randall.

“There have been improvements in many schools across the country and some improvement in some states and territories. However, at a national level NAPLAN results have shown no significant improvement across the domains and year levels in the last few years. We should expect more for our children.

“As we have also seen recently with Australia's performance in international assessments, there is broad scope for improvement in achievement. We need to raise our expectations and strive for improved results across the board,” Mr Randall concludes.

At the national level for NAPLAN:

  • Reading results for Years 3 and 5 are better than they were in 2008. Compared with 2015, there has been no significant improvement.
  • Spelling results for Year 3 are better than they were in 2008. Compared with 2015, there has been no significant improvement.
  • Grammar/punctuation results for Year 3 are better than they were in 2008. Compared with 2015, there has been no significant improvement.
  • Numeracy results for Year 5 are better than they were in 2008. Compared with 2015, there has been no significant improvement.
  • Writing results for Year 9 saw a significant decrease since 2011 (the year from which results can be compared with for this domain).

There have been some significant gains in some domains in each state and territory, with Western Australia and Queensland standing out more than others. ACT, NSW and Victoria continue to have the highest mean achievement across the NAPLAN domains in Years 3, 5 and 7.

Data in the national report have also shown that since 2008, there have been some significant cumulative gains in some domains and year levels for Indigenous students, including reading (Years 3 and 5), numeracy (Year 5), spelling (Year 3), grammar and punctuation (Years 3, 5 and 7). There has also been a significant increase in the percentage of students performing at or above the national minimum standard in writing at Year 7.

Test incidents

The 2016 NAPLAN Test Incidents Report (PDF 214 kb)has also been released. Test incidents can include cheating, security breaches and other general breaches.

There were 47 test incidents substantiated in 2016, of which two were cheating, 16 were a security breach and 29 were a ‘general breach’. These numbers are similar to previous years.

The number of reported test incidents is extremely small and does not affect overall NAPLAN results.